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Government releases Sh67 Billion to the education sector

The government has from January 2023 disbursed Sh67 billion to public primary and secondary school learners.

Education Cabinet Secretary (CS) Ezekiel Machogu said that for the Free Primary Education Programme, the Ministry has released Sh7.9 billion for the nine million learners in public primary schools.

He explained that under the Junior School, the government has disbursed Sh14.7 billion for the one million learners since January this year while Sh44.4 billion has been spent as capitation for the 3.7 million learners enrolled under the Free Day Secondary Education.

“In the Financial Year 2023/2024, the government has allocated Sh51.1 billion to students enrolled in TVET and Universities. Most of these institutions started their 2023/2024 Academic Year in September, 2023,” said the CS.

Machogu added that over the last one month, the government has been receiving and processing applications for loans, bursaries and scholarships from students wishing to be funded by the Government.

According to the CS, on 4th October, 2023, the government, through the Higher Education Loans Board (HELB), released Sh10.5 billion for tuition and upkeep loans to continuing students enrolled in Universities and TVET institutions, under the Old Funding Model.

He disclosed that the upkeep loans for 206,123 undergraduate and 72,546 TVET continuing students under the Old Higher Education Funding Model have been disbursed to students as per their respective preferred payment channels.

“Each of the benefitting students in university receives a minimum loan of Sh37, 000 and a maximum of Sh60, 000. On the other hand, each successful TVET trainee is awarded an average of Sh40, 000 per annum,” said Machogu.

Machogu highlighted that in September 2023, the government released grants worth Sh8.4 billion as capitation to students in public universities and Sh441 million for continuing students in Private Universities. On the other hand, a total of Sh1.3 billion was released as capitation to continuing trainees in various TVET Colleges.

Additionally, the CS said that on July 31, 2023, the government launched the student application process for the higher education scholarships and loans for the 2022 Kenya Certificate of Secondary Examination cohort who were placed to universities and TVET institutions for the 2023/2024 Academic Year.

“Although the deadline for application was initially September 7th, 2023, this was extended to October 7th, 2023, to give all eligible applicants the opportunity to submit their documents, in the spirit of leaving no student behind,” explained the CS.

Machogu said that as of October 4th, 2023, a total of 238,714 applications had been submitted.

He said some 269,112 students were placed by KUCCPS to Universities and TVET institutions and were eligible for Government funding. This means that 3,608 and 26,790 students placed in universities and TVET institutions respectively are yet to apply.

“This number is expected to rise after the Kenya Universities and Colleges Central Placement Service validates the data of students who have transferred to different degree programmes or universities,” said the CS.

He remarked that the Universities Fund and HELB have commenced the processing of scholarships and bursaries for all students who have already applied.

“The government wishes to assure students, parents, guardians and the higher education institutions that all efforts are being made to ensure that the loans and scholarships are released to applicants on time to facilitate their learning activities,” said Machogu.

In the meantime, Machogu said that, Universities and TVET institutions are under firm instructions to admit and keep students who have reported even in cases where they do not have any fees. “So far, 86.6 per cent (121,367) of the 140,147 students have reported to universities that have commenced studies for the 2023/2024 Academic Year. The number is expected to rise as more universities open. Students’ admission to TVET institutions are conducted on a rolling basis,” he said.

Machogu urged all the eligible students who are yet to apply to make a formal application for scholarships and loans through the Higher Education Financing portal (www.hef.co.ke).

By Joseph Ng’ang’a 

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